Winter food needs to be piping hot, comforting, filling, sustaining and hearty. It always baffles me that January is the month of detox. Rather than dieting, my usual craving is to cuddle up with a good book and a bowl of steaming hot stew. Here are my favourite winter soup ingredients, along with the recipes I turn to the most: hearty vegan soups, stews and hotpots to make this winter, guaranteed to satisfy the body, mind and soul.
6 Top Ingredients for Healthy Hearty Soups
- BEETROOT has both a sweet and savoury taste which means it can complement strong flavours but is also tasty alone. It is rich in iron, fibre and calcium – including the green tops which can be cooked like spinach.
- BUCKWHEAT is not related to wheat but to sorrel and rhubarb, and is gluten-free. You can buy raw buckwheat which is pale fawn, or roasted buckwheat known as kasha which is brown.
- MUNG BEANS provide a complete protein when eaten with rice and are packed with minerals and B vitamins. Whole mung beans can be sprouted and are the same beansprouts we buy in packets.
- BLACK CHICKPEAS are popular in Pakistan and Northern India and known as kala chana. They are smaller than normal chickpeas with a great fibre and protein content, plus a high concentration of iron.
- SPELT is an ancient wheat grain that has not been hybridised and messed about with like modern wheat. It is high in fibre and some people on wheat-free diets can tolerate a little spelt, as it is easier to digest than wheat.
- CAVOLO NERO is a dark, leafy Italian brassica similar to kale. Full of antioxidants, its nutrient-dense crinkly leaves are perfect to chop and add to soups and stews.
The Best Vegan Soups, Stews and Hotpots for Winter
Vegetable Stew with Mustard Herb Dumplings
La Ribollita: Tuscan Soup with Beans and Greens
Borscht Beetroot Soup
Black Chickpea, Squash, Spelt and Greens Hotpot
Congee with mung beans and peanuts
Roasted Celeriac and Caraway Soup with Herb and Caper Croutons
South American Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew